Bears, coyotes, mountain lions, oh my! As neat it would be to see these magnificent creatures, they are wild and dangerous animals that need to be treated with respect. It is best to watch them from a safe distance. Never leave food in your 6 person family tent. If you are lucky enough to see one of these animals, make sure that you are careful to mind your own business. Follow these precautions below to help make the journey safer:
Weighing up to 200 pounds and measuring in length up to 8 feet long, this is an animal capable of running 45 miles per hour and leaping 15 feet in the air. These skillful hunters use silence, stealth, and stalking to capture their food. These top predators have amazing senses, great hearing, and spectacular vision – as well as nocturnal vision, but don’t let that stop you from going on a night walk. It is not likely you are going to see this elusive animal. If you happen to encounter a mountain lion, stand tall, try to look big, don’t run, and fight back if you must.
Not only can a bear see better than people, a bear’s sense of smell is 20 times greater than a human. They can smell a human from a mile away. Bears are omnivores, so they eat both plants and animals. Bears usually avoid humans unless tempted by food. Along with their amazing sense of smell, bears have great memory. If a bear finds food in an area, chances are they will return the next day for more. This is important to know if camping in the mountains or wooded area. It is smart to lock up foods, trash, and scented items, or anything that will attract a bear. If you do see a bear, do not run. Bears can run up to 30 mph over a short distance. Try to stay calm, back away slowly, and fight back if necessary by yelling and throwing rocks, and sticks.
These nocturnal animals are seldom seen. You are most likely to catch a glimpse of a coyote late at night into early morning, before the sun rises. Coyotes are very smart, persistent, courageous animals. Over time, coyotes have been adapting to human environments and are becoming less easily intimidated. Coyote attacks are a rare occurrence, but they do happen. Children and pets are the most vulnerable to these attacks. To reduce such danger, always supervise children, do not let pets run loose, and do not feed the animals. When encountering a coyote, stare it down and don’t back away. If that does not work, make lots of noise and shout at it. Most importantly, do not run away – they can sense fear and will become more aggressive once in contact with that smell.